The new NBA season begins on Tuesday, October 18, with two games on the schedule, including this Atlantic Division clash in Boston, so make sure you don’t miss out on the best 76ers vs. Celtics betting pick and odds.
The Celtics are -2.5 favorites on JazzSports Sportsbook when Boston hosts at TD Garden in the opening game of the new NBA campaign, while the total is set at 216.5 points. These divisional foes have met four times last season and they split it 2-2.
76ers won all four games in the preseason
The Philadelphia 76ers were stopped in the second round of the playoffs last year when they lost to the Miami Heat in six games. This year, though, Doc Rivers’ team is looking to make at least a step forward and reach the ECF, while the main objective is to win the Atlantic Division. The Sixers won the division last year for the first time since 2001.
Philadelphia enjoyed a successful preseason after defeating the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers twice, and Charlotte Hornets. With no injuries and all players healthy and at Rivers’ disposal, the 76ers are looking for a strong start, but it will not be easy against the reigning Eastern Conference champs in Boston. Following the addition of P.J. Tucker, it seems that the Sixers are stronger on defense this time around, while they kept the core made of Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tobias Harris. Philly also acquired De’Anthony Melton and Montrezl Harrell, who will play important role in their playoff push.
Celtics are favorites to defend the divisional title
The Boston Celtics did have a 2-1 lead against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals last season but lost 4-2 in the end, and now are looking to reach the Finals again. However, it will be more complicated this season as head coach Ime Udoka is suspended for violations of team policies, so his assistant Joe Mazzulla will serve as interim coach.
Boston met the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors in the preseason and played twice against each rival, recording two wins and two losses. The Celtics’ starting five is unchanged this year as it consists of Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford. They brought Malcolm Brogdon to make their backcourt even stronger, while the veteran Blake Griffin also joined the team. Center Robert Williams is going to miss the start of the season and the first couple of months after left knee surgery, while Danilo Gallinari is likely going to miss the entire 2022-23 campaign.
- 7-1 ATS in the last eight games against Boston
- 4-2 ATS in the last six games against the Atlantic Division rivals
- 1-4 ATS in the last five games overall
- 1-4 ATS in the last five after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Pick
It’s going to be a real spectacle and a mouthwatering clash on the opening night of a new NBA season between two contenders. That said, this game could go either way, but I am going with the visitors to cover because they played better in the preseason. That is not a strong argument, though, but it is a really close encounter and one it has the potential to go down to the wire and be decided by one possession. I know the Celtics are a bit better on defense, especially backcourt D, but the Sixers are now stronger than the last year, so I am giving them a slight advantage here.
Pick: Take the 76ers at +2.5 (-110)
I expect both teams to be a bit rusty as it is the opening night of the season. The total is set at 216.5 points, and only one of four H2H duels last year produced more than 216 points. We will likely see plenty of good defensive plays and a lot of missed shots. Both sides were below 20th place when it comes to pace last year, while the Celtics have the joint-best defensive rating with 106.9 points allowed per 100 possessions. Under is 5-1 in the last six H2H meetings in Boston; Under is 8-3 in the 76ers’ previous 11 overall, while Under is 4-1 in Boston’s last five overall.
Pick: Go Under 218.5 points (-135)